12 Jan
2020

Integrated Security Service workers likely to be paid today

first_imgAmid a succession of negative publicity, the embattled Integrated Security Service has finally broken its silence on the reasons behind the non-payment of scores of workers.The company says it is aware of the issues that were raised by the desperate security guards and shared with Guyana Times via telephone the reason for theSeveral of the security officers during a picket actioncompany’s shortcomings in the past few months.A representative close to the company explained that when they were acquiring the contract, they received it ‘as was’ and as such, no changes were made to the contracts or the way the system was functioning. They noted that it was until after the first month that they noticed the discrepancies.“There was a number of extensive staffing on locations that was not supposed to be,” the representative stated. They further explained that there were supposed to be two guards working at a location, but it was discovered that there were up to five guards working at the same location. “That’s how the additional payments that they are claiming is coming up,” they explained.Additionally, the company noted that they were unaware of the issue initially, stating that the worker’s schedules and reports had a fixed number of employees and it was until they received the payment sheets that they noticed the additional number of workers. They noted that in December they had 256 employees on file, but ended up paying some 389 employees. In January, the on-record employees climbed to 294, while in February the number was 290. “The first month we could have understood the mistake, the second month it was fixed a little, but the third month was too much,” they stated.The company admitted that it was not in a position to tell workers that it could not pay them because of the inconsistencies and as such, it tried to resolve the matter in a timely fashion. “We have gone above and beyond to provide a good working relationship with our staff; however, our efforts are being undermined by persons within our organisation who we depend on for correct information.”In relation to finding a permanent solution to the problem, the representative stated that, “We have some serious decisions to make, we didn’t want to make those decisions, but they will have to be made.” Alluding to the possibility that the company will have to lay off some of the excess employees, the representative pleaded “Are we just going to pay 500 people when we are supposed to have 200 people?”When asked about how the company planned on moving forward, it was highlighted that the company will have to figure out a way to ‘bounce back’ from this issue. The representative also sought to clarify that the company has no intention of ‘robbing’ staff of their monies. “That is a blatant lie,” the rep stated.It was disclosed that the outstanding salaries will be paid to the aggrieved workers by today.Over the past few months, security guards attached to the company have made cries for help, stating that they are not being paid or are receiving short salaries. Many of the guards are mothers or breadwinners of their families and highlighted that it was difficult for them to provide for their families if they are receiving little to no salaries. On numerous occasions, the security officers have hosted picketing exercises with the main topic being the non-payment of salaries and ill-treatment by senior officials of the company. The distraught workers have accused their bosses of victimisation, stating that whenever they publically voiced their concerns, they were either suspended or fired from the job.Integrated Security provides services for the Government offices and buildings in the Region Five (Mahaica-Berbice) and Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne) areas. The company took over this contract from Homesafe Security. When the complaints were raised, Government officials had distanced themselves from the issue stating that all monies for payment had already been handed over to the security company in a timely manner. To date, Harry Gill of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) and Abel Seetaram of the Alliance For Change (AFC) have vowed to do whatever they could to assist the workers.last_img read more

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12 Jan
2020

Five-year tax change proposed

first_imgThe report outlined how the increase would affect specific residential properties. For example, a residential property owner on 103 Ave. whose property assessment increased from $239,000 to $247,000 would pay $46 more in taxes in 2011 than in 2010. The average tax increase for residential property owners across Fort St. John would be approximately $63 in 2011.Despite Council’s decision to consider a decrease to both business and light industry property owners, Councillor Lori Ackerman said the City should consider where property owners reside. Ackerman said the City should try not to give multinational corporations, with owners who live outside Fort St. John, tax breaks at the expense of the City’s residential property owners. Rather, Ackerman said she would prefer to give any potential tax breaks to corporations with local owners.Furthermore, Councillor Dan Davies said the City would most likely review the tax rate changes in one year since there is at least one factor that could sway the current classification and tax rate system. Davies said B.C. Assessment is being asked to review many light industrial properties across the province since some might be incorrectly classified.Some light industry properties might actually belong under the heavy industry classification or the business classification. If any of the light industrial properties in the Fort St. John have their classifications altered, the change could impact how much the property owner would pay and thus, how much the City would collect in taxes.Advertisement The proposal will now go through a public consultation process, which will take place at a later date. Property owners are likely to see changes to their tax rates after Fort St. John City Council approved a motion to consider a phased tax ratio adjustment over a five-year period.On Monday, Council, during its committee of the whole meeting, voted in favour of presenting the five-year tax adjustment plan at a public meeting.- Advertisement -Council was presented with three potential options – three-, four- or five-years – for phasing in a decrease in the tax ratios for businesses and light industrial property owners, alongside an increase in the tax burden being placed on residential property owners.After significant debate, Council ultimately chose to proceed with a five-year plan, to minimize the potential burden on residential property owners.On the one hand, the plan would result in a drop in the tax rate for both light industrial properties and businesses within Fort St. John. Light industrial property owners would see a drop of approximately 2.48 per cent from 28.19 in 2010 to 25.71 per cent in 2011 and business property owners would see a less than one per cent drop from 14.37 in 2010 to 14.09 per cent in 2011.On the other hand, residential property owners would face a tax increase of 0.02 per cent from 5.05 last year to 5.07 this year.Advertisementlast_img read more

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11 Jan
2020

Pro-am in swing at Classic tourney

first_imgVALENCIA – Nice weather greeted golfers at the Valencia Country Club on Monday for the kickoff of the AT&T Champions Classic pro-am, which is expected to generate more than $8 million for the Santa Clarita Valley. “We’re thrilled the sun is out, it’s actually more like summertime than spring,” said Jason Crawford, Santa Clarita’s film and tourism administrator. “Last year was so cold people were running around like Chicken Little, thinking the snow was going to fall from the sky!” With a high hitting 95 degrees, 25 teams hit the links in a shotgun start for an event that’s been hosted by the city of Santa Clarita seven times now. “Last year it brought $8 million to the valley and we expect that to be higher this year with the (nice) weather,” said Craig Cliver, the club’s head golf pro. The city’s share comes from sales and hotel taxes. Last year, the event drew 40,000 visitors from all over the world. Mark O’Meara, a 16-time winner on the PGA Tour who just turned 50 – the tour’s qualifying age – is not expected until later in the week, but no matter. Proceeds from the event will be split among several charities, but the main beneficiary is Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital. Last year’s pro-am netted the hospital $120,000. Among the 80 pros vying for the championship are Hale Irwin, Jerry Pate, Ben Crenshaw, Fuzzy Zoeller and Tom Kite, who is defending his 2006 title. The purse is $1.6 million; the winner’s take should be $240,000. The five-person teams feature a pro and a foursome – who collectively pay $7,000 for the privilege. The event has raised roughly $400,000 for local charities over the years. Community leaders on the links included Bob Haueter, Chris Fall, Don Fleming, City Manager Ken Pulskamp, Assistant City Manager Ken Striplin, Public Works Director Robert Newman and Santa Clarita City Councilman Bob Kellar. “It’s so exciting to have the (tour) here in Santa Clarita,” Kellar said in the morning. “I hope it’s something we’ll be able to have here for many years to come.” Negotiations are continuing for a new multiyear contract. Kellar has experience on the course, playing with friends who belong to the pricey club. Among the scores of volunteers on hand to help out is George Cobb, 78, of Los Angeles, a retired mail carrier for the U.S. Postal Service who played on the course years ago when it was still public. Cobb likes to watch the pros, and on Monday he took refuge from the sun under a canopied grandstand while eating lunch. “In baseball, maybe you have one or two favorites, but on the golf course you have four, five, maybe 10 guys you really like to see play,” he said. Some of his favorites will tee off later this week. Cobb is stationed on the driving range, plying golfers with balls. Over the years he’s amassed a collection of balls autographed by Jim Thorpe, Lee Trevino, Kite, Crenshaw and others. “They’re very generous,” he said. Seven-year volunteer Teryl Smith, 46, guards her post by the pro shop. The local resident has been employed by AT&T for 28 years and will bring her daughter and four friends to see the pros on Friday. “I have to give them the golf etiquette – 12-year-old girls chat,” she said. Among her cautions: No cell phones when they’re hitting the ball. “The seniors are great to the kids,” Smith said. “They’re more approachable than the regular tour (players).” Pro Denis Watson, a transplant from Zimbabwe now living in Pacific Palisades, was hitting balls on the driving range. He’s a rookie on the tour, but has played the course twice. “It’s a very challenging golf course, the rough is tough and the fairways are narrow,” he said. “It favors guys who strike the ball well. That’s why I’m practicing.” After he hit one ball 275 yards and another about 280 yards, he said “Oooooh we, I’d like to hit it that nice all week.” After Watson moved on, Cobb swooped in and picked up the golfer’s unused balls. The pros are all PGA tour professionals, some who compete in up to 30 worldwide tournaments annually. The event is being televised nationally on the Golf Channel. More pro-ams follow throughout the week. Other events include today’s Pro-Junior Champions Challenge and the Classic Gala on Wednesday night at the Hyatt Valencia. Professional play begins Friday morning and runs through Sunday afternoon. judy.orourke@dailynews.com (661) 257-5255 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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3 Jan
2020

Democratic fundraiser arrested

first_imgHsu had been scheduled to appear in court Wednesday to turn over his passport and ask a judge to cut in half the $2 million bail he posted last week when he turned himself in after spending 15 years on the lam from the theft conviction. Instead, Hsu failed to show up at the bail reduction hearing and a judge issued a new arrest warrant for him. California Attorney General spokesman Gareth Lacy said Hsu’s lawyers told prosecutors Hsu arrived by charter jet at the Oakland airport about 5:30 a.m. PDT Wednesday and then wasn’t heard from again. When it became apparent that Hsu had fled the state, California authorities sought the assistance of the FBI, whose agents arrested him on charges of unlawful flight to avoid prosecution, Schadler said. By Paul Elias THE ASSOCIATED PRESS SAN FRANCISCO – Disgraced Democratic fundraiser Norman Hsu was arrested in Colorado late Thursday after he failed to show up for a court appearance related to a felony theft conviction. FBI agents took Hsu into custody around 8 p.m. PDT at St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction, Colo., FBI spokesman Joseph Schadler said in a statement. The circumstances surrounding Hsu’s arrest were not immediately clear. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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3 Jan
2020

Birmingham 1-1 Middlesbrough: Bamford strike sends ten-man Boro top

first_img Middlesbrough striker Patrick Bamford celebrates his leveller against Birmingham 1 On-loan striker Patrick Bamford fired ten-man Middlesbrough to the top of the Championship table as they battled back to earn a 1-1 draw at Birmingham.Boro had been staring down the barrel of defeat after Paul Caddis put Blues ahead from the spot in first-half stoppage time, the visitors finding themselves a man down with goalkeeper Dimitri Konstantopoulos sent off for conceding the penalty.But a storming second-half fightback earned its reward when Chelsea forward Bamford struck for the 12th time this season in the 74th minute.The draw may have ended Middlesbrough’s run of six successive Championship wins, but a point was the least they deserved for their battling second-half display.Bamford’s equaliser denied Birmingham what would have been a morale-boosting win little more than 24 hours after their parent company, Birmingham International Holdings Limited, went into receivership.Their winless league run has now stretched to six games – collecting just five points from 18 – as they wait to discover if there will be any fall-out from the Football League following the events in Hong Kong surrounding BIHL.Middlesbrough’s neat passing style saw them dominate the early exchanges, and it needed a fingertip save by Birmingham goalkeeper Darren Randolph to nudge away a low angled drive from Emilio Nsue after three minutes following a slick pass from Adam Forshaw.But that was something of a false dawn for Middlesbrough as it was Birmingham who went on to carry the greater threat in the opening period.Andrew Shinnie, Clayton Donaldson and Demarai Gray all went close for the hosts and they eventually got the breakthrough through Caddis’ penalty, awarded after Konstantopoulos brought down Donaldson with a crude challenge in the box.After the break, however, it was a different story, as a revitalised Boro sensed the chance to force their way back into the game despite their lack of manpower.Grant Leadbitter had impressed all game for the visitors and it was fitting that it was his pass which teed up Bamford to beat Randolph from six yards.Donaldson then had a chance to grab a dramatic stoppage-time winner from a Caddis cross, but headed over the bar from six yards to ensure that the spoils were shared.last_img read more

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30 Dec
2019

EXCLUSIVE: Norwich agree deal to sign Congo striker on season-long loan

first_imgNorwich are set to sign Dynamo Kiev striker Dieumerci Mbokani on a season-long loan.Canaries boss Alex Neil has been working hard to boost his attacking options all summer but has so far been frustrated in his search.Roma’s Mattia Destro had been on Neil’s radar but the Italy international opted to join Bologna instead, while Stoke are refusing to sell Jonathan Walters.Now the Premier League new boys have turned their attentions to Mbokani.talkSPORT understands they have agreed a loan deal with Kiev for the 29-year-old and the Congo international is due to fly to England today to undergo a medical in Norfolk.Mbokani has been prolific throughout his career with the likes of Kiev, Anderlecht and Standard Liege and Neil will hope he can continue his goalscoring form in the Premier League. Dieumerci Mbokani 1last_img read more

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30 Dec
2019

Competing interests duke it out over trucks

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.At the heart of the proposed Clean Truck Program is a hotly debated provision that harbor trucking be handled solely by employee drivers. Supporters like this approach because it guarantees higher wages for truckers, more easily enforceable environmental guidelines for the ports and a driver work force likely to meet looming federal security mandates. Industry groups are opposed because it opens the door for labor unions, higher employee costs, less competition and rising rates for freight movement. While threats of industry lawsuits have provided political cover for harbor commissioners as they repeatedly delayed a final vote in recent months, the time for stalling appears to be drawing to a close. And if Friday’s hearing is any indication, commissioners are prepared to enact the environmental regulatory plan as proposed and deal with the legal fallout later. “There’s some concern here and rightfully so, but every other industry has gone through this,” said Port of Los Angeles commission President S. David Freeman, who oversaw major environmental changes in power plant operations under President Jimmy Carter. “(Freight movement) is the last of the unregulated industries in this country.” Freeman, never one to mince words, put it even more bluntly in a statement to a panel of retail groups at Friday’s informational hearing in San Pedro. “Ultimately, the Wal-Marts and Targets are going to pay what it costs to move their goods in cleaner trucks and pay for a secure work force.” But what about the other nine commissioners overseeing the nation’s two largest and most economically important seaports? The five-member board Freeman leads is reportedly supportive of the employee provision. A consensus in Long Beach, however, doesn’t appear as likely. The commission’s five members are said to be split on the employee provision, with at least two solidly behind it, two leaning against and one on the fence. One factor that may push a quick resolution is the five-year backlog of terminal expansion projects on the waterfront. If port authorities hope to get those projects approved in coming years, they need the truck problem fixed. That’s because the 16,000 or so diesel rigs hauling containers and cargo to and from marine terminals are a major source of pollution tied to health problems like asthma and cancer. Without mitigating the issue as required by California law, the ports won’t be able to grow. In addition, elected leaders in the area, including most of the Long Beach and Los Angeles city councils, local congressional representatives, state senators and Assembly members, are pushing commissioners to approve the plan as proposed. A poll by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research shows 83 percent of area residents support it, and an economic study by John Husing reports a net benefit to the region in wages and decreased health-care costs. But intense industry opposition, threats of lawsuits, questions about the plan’s impact on cargo movement during a transition period and uneasiness about higher freight costs have authorities balking. Some are even suggesting starting from scratch. “We should go back to the table and redesign this program,” said Patty Senecal, owner of a Long Beach-based truck company. But, at this point, that seems highly unlikely. According to Freeman’s own statements, the ports have invested too much time, money and research into their clean truck goals, and may just be ready to force the issue into court for final resolution. At the same time, shippers and retailers are standing their ground. “Provisions requiring employment status are not negotiable to us,” said Julie Sauls of the California Trucking Association. In recent weeks, port authorities on both sides of San Pedro Bay have been shoring up their legal services, meeting regularly with attorneys to discuss possible outcomes and strategies to defend their position. Industry, meanwhile, is busy drafting lawsuits that charge port authorities with overstepping their regulatory jurisdiction and trampling federal and state trade laws. Unless a compromise is reached – soon – expect the best legal minds on both sides to be in court before year’s end. kristopher.hanson@presstelegram.com160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! ANALYSIS: The plan to lower emissions is pitting a host of parties against each other. By Kristopher Hanson STAFF WRITER What began as a noble plan to snuff out diesel truck pollution has turned into a political battle pitting environmentalists, local elected leaders and organized labor against shipping and retail industries. last_img read more

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28 Dec
2019

RUGBY AND GAA UNITE FOR UNIQUE CHRISTMAS VARIETY SHOW!

first_imgThe Alison Quigley dancers will perform at the variety show.Letterkenny Gaels GAA Club and Letterkenny Rugby Club will break new ground this Sunday (20th Dec) when they come together to host the first ever Christmas Variety Show at their club house on Thorn Road,Letterkenny. Building on the recent success of staging the Sam Cree play Widows’ Paradise, the two clubs will now present a host of talent, young and old, in what promises to be a action packed evening of song, music, dance and storytelling.The performers in this inaugural Christmas Variety Show have been recruited primarily from the underage membership of both clubs. Returning from their strong representation of the club in the county championships, members of the LK Gaels ScÓr na nOg and ScÓr Sinsear groups will perform a variety of song, dance and traditional music.The Rugby club will be well represented by Eilish Costello and Cuan and Ronan Brophy who will entertain the audience with their own blend of song and music.Luke Brown (of Widows’ Paradise fame) will be accompanied on stage by Niamh Hanley to perform a few modern popular songs, which will be an obvious hit with the younger members of the audience.There will also be performances from Brighdin Carr and the Blue Ribbon Group, some storytelling from local entertainer Noel Sweeney and other club members on the night. Mick Foy and his friends from Comhaltas will round off the evening with afew high tempo tunes.Tea coffee and home baking will be served at the half time interval.The show willstart at 5:00pm sharp with doors opened from 4:30pm.Places are limited and entry to the show will be strictly by ticketonly.Tickets can be purchased for the Variety Show from Conor Crossan (087) 133 2680 orby contacting any committee member of Letterkenny Gaels GAA Club or Letterkenny Rugby Club.This promises to be a great night of song and dance, not to be missed. Cute Carla Carr who will perform at the show.RUGBY AND GAA UNITE FOR UNIQUE CHRISTMAS VARIETY SHOW! was last modified: December 19th, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Letterkenny GaelsLETTERKENNY RUGBY CLUBvariety showlast_img read more

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27 Dec
2019

Medicare deadline midnight Monday

first_imgNor is the drug coverage for just poor people. Any Medicare beneficiary is entitled to it regardless of income, McClellan said. The only seniors who shouldn’t feel any deadline pressure are those with drug coverage from elsewhere that’s as good as Medicare’s, such as from an employer. They won’t be penalized and forced to pay a higher premium if they lose or drop their insurance later and enroll in a Medicare plan. For everyone else, the eleventh hour is here. To accommodate an expected rush in the next three days, Medicare will have 6,000 telephone operators available at 1-800-633-4227. The agency has also quadrupled its computer capacity at www.medicare.gov. “It’s all hands on deck for us,” McClellan said. The agency is also participating in hundreds of community enrollment events. One of Medicare’s local partners, the Dallas Area Agency on Aging, opened its offices from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday to sign up seniors. “Bring your medications and your Medicare card, and we’ll help you do the rest,” said Carolyn Toliver, the Area Agency on Aging’s benefits counseling coordinator. She says the enrollment process takes 30 to 45 minutes. Toliver said her counseling staff would also help seniors on limited incomes apply to Social Security for extra assistance with their out-of-pocket prescription costs. Those who qualify for the extra help will pay no premiums or deductible for their coverage, and their co-payments will be only a few dollars for each prescription. By midnight Monday, the Bush administration projects it will have enrolled 31.4 million older adults and exceeded its goal of 28 million to 30 million this first year.PRESCRIPTION DRUG DEADLINE Medicare started offering prescription drug coverage Jan. 1. Seniors aren’t required to sign up. But if they want coverage, they have until midnight Monday to choose one of the private drug plans Medicare has approved. Texans may select from 47 plans. Monthly premiums average about $25. Under the standard benefit, seniors pay a $250 annual deductible, then 25 percent of the next $2,000 of drug costs. After that, seniors pay 100 percent of the next $2,850. Once beneficiaries have paid $3,600, they’re responsible for only 5 percent of any other drug bills.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBasketball roundup: Sierra Canyon, Birmingham set to face off in tournament quarterfinalsMedicare’s actuaries have figured that 2 million fewer older adults would sign up for prescription coverage now if they were given another 7 months to do it. The holdouts fall into several groups, Leavitt said. Besides the habitual procrastinators, there are healthy seniors who don’t believe they need the insurance and people who think the benefit is for only low-income seniors. Medicare officials say both notions are wrong. “Even the healthy should sign up in case they get sick or injured,” said Medicare administrator Mark McClellan. “Buying a low-cost plan now will avoid paying a penalty later.” DALLAS – If you’re one of 5.7 million older Americans still lacking prescription drug coverage, government officials have a message for you: Time’s running out. You have until midnight Monday to enroll in a Medicare plan. After that, you won’t be able to sign up again until Nov. 15. And you’ll pay 1 percent more in premiums for each month you’ve delayed. Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt says Monday’s deadline won’t be extended, despite some lawmakers’ calls for it to be pushed back to the end of the year. “The deadline has worked – it’s helped seniors focus on this issue and act,” he said. “An extension would only allow people to put off what they could do today.” last_img read more

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27 Dec
2019

SOCCER NEWS: LAGAN HARPS NOTES

first_imgLagan Harps FCOur men’s team returned to action with a 3-1 win over Castlefin Celtic. Kevin Kelly, Austin Marron and James Gillen were the scorers. Drew Connolly and Aidan O’Donnell also stood out.Next Sunday they face a tough away encounter against title challengers Lifford Celtic. Our u/16’s finished their season with a 4-0 loss to Illistrin in the cup. Paul O’Brien was our outstanding player. Our u/14’s lost 3-0 to Letterkenny Rovers while our u/12’s had two matches. On Tuesday they lost 3-1 to Ballyraine with Kieran Quinn scoring. Kieran and Jack Parke were their best players.On Saturday they lost 5-1 to a strong Bonagee Utd side with Jack Parke scoring.In our weekly lotto the numbers drawn were 5,10,21 and 23. Thirteen people had two numbers with Stanley Dill drawn out and winning E50. Next weeks jackpot is E4025.00. The club extends sympathy to the Haye family Galdonagh and the Mc Glinchey family on their recent bereavements.SOCCER NEWS: LAGAN HARPS NOTES was last modified: April 15th, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:LAGAN HARPS NOTESlast_img read more

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